Rotator cuff pain commonly causes local swelling and tenderness in the front of the shoulder. You may have pain and stiffness when you lift your arm. There may also be pain when the arm is lowered from an elevated position.
Beginning symptoms may be mild. Patients frequently do not seek treatment at an early stage. These symptoms may include:
Minor pain that is present both with activity and at rest
Pain radiating from the front of the shoulder to the side of the arm
Sudden pain with lifting and reaching movements
Athletes in overhead sports may have pain when throwing or serving a tennis ball
As the problem progresses, the symptoms increase:
Pain at night
Loss of strength and motion
Difficulty doing activities that place the arm behind the back, such as buttoning or zippering
If the pain comes on suddenly, the shoulder may be severely tender. All movement may be limited and painful.